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Warner Bros. Discovery's quiet first week on Wall Street

Apr 18, 2022
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

Warner Bros. Discovery's first week was largely uneventful as CEO David Zaslav spent the last seven days meeting with various parts of his mega-company.

Why it matters: While there is a lot of excitement about WBD's future, investors are taking a wait-and-see approach.

  • WBD's stock ended its first week with a modest 3% increase from where it started on its first day of trading last Monday ($24.08 per share). It closed that day at $24.78 per share and ended the week at $24.88 per share (trading ended on Thursday due to Good Friday).
  • The stock was slightly down Monday, priced at $24.55 at about 10am ET.
  • As Axios previously reported, WBD isn't planning to announce any major layoffs in the next month, ahead of its first upfront presentation to advertisers on May 18.

Even so, there have been smatterings of news from the past week that may have been buried under Elon Musk's Twitter feed. Here's what you might have missed:

  • Zaslav addressed employees during a company-wide town hall last Thursday that was emceed by Oprah Winfrey and featured mostly high-level discussions and platitudes about culture.
  • One of the major early changes under Zaslav could be an overhaul of DC Entertainment, Variety reports. The idea is to turn DC into its own solidified content vertical and have a chief executive similar to Kevin Feige's role at rival Marvel Studios.
  • Puck's Julia Alexander writes that one of Zaslav's first initiatives is to figure out what to do with CNN+ and its "Harry Potter" franchise, whose latest film "The Secrets of Dumbledore" was released last weekend and drew a franchise-low $43 million at the box office.
    • Yes, but: There wasn't a pandemic when the last film was released. The movie still topped the weekend box office and is on par with some other recent openings.
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